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Author: Kid @ Heart Disney Devo

If this is your first time traveling to Disney World or as a single parent, give yourself about an extra month or two of planning.  Start about 8 months before your day of departure.

Tip 1: Age of Kids I personally would take child(ren) that are at least 6-7 ,7-8 is ideal, the reason is a lot of walking, long days, and they will have that excitement keeping them going everyday, but younger is fine just a little different strategies.

Tip 2: Shoes When you know you are planning a trip, one thing is to buy new sneakers for the trip and wear them once a week to start breaking them in, and start walking three times a week with the kid(s) to start getting their little legs and feet prepped for those long days and a lot of walking.

Tip 3:Park Parties Consider taking your family some time in the last three weeks of October to enjoy the Halloween theme, and fun times.  You should get separate tickets to the Micky’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Another good time to go the first three weeks of December. The park is beautiful with all the Christmas decorations and Micky’s Very Merry Christmas Party . But I do NOT recommend you go the week between Christmas an New Years as it is the BUSIEST time of the year.  To attend either event is a separate charge to attend from your package costs , but is well worth the extra money. Tickets for either event can be purchased through the link depending on the time of year.  Five hours of pure fun and attended by only the guests who have those tickets for that night.

Tip 4: Think about the Weather and Crowds The last two weeks of October has temperatures in the 70’s / 80’s during the day and the 60’s at night.  First or second week of December temps can vary , 09′ and 10′ it was down right cold, but we still had fun.  Not busy time of the year as well, but the second week tends to be less crowed than the first, first week they have cheerleading compotition going on so a little more people than week two.  February from what I have read and been told is comfortable.  But if you really want to catch the smiles and excitement of your child(ren) it had to be December first if they love Christmas, Santa, and holiday lights!  Disney does not disappoint when it comes to decorating the parks for those times of year, especiallyOctober decorations are done really nice at the Magic Kingdom, but really lack in the spirit of the theme and decorations at the other parks.  Halloween party is a lot more fun, but Christmas time of the year is more beautiful at three of the four parks.  

Tip 5: Order your Disney vacation dvd from the website. It will really help you get your bearings on the parks before you even go there.

For the first trip I would recommend contacting a travel agent. I always use one and at Tips from the Disney Diva we recommend you contact Patricia with All for Dreams Travel to make the process a smooth transition and get you the most affordable vacation. They can also assist with resort, flights, and more. They’ll also keep an eye on when a Disney Dining Plan is available for free. My past trip included free dining and it saved me about $1000.

Tip 6: Do your research. Start doing your research as soon as you can on where which resort you want to stay at that that is child(ren) friendly, where to eat, events you want to attend, order your party tickets if attending either party. Your travel agent can help with all this too. Make sure you think the park hours so you can make a plan of where to go on the days that have longest days and / or extra magic hours.

Some resorts feel more child friendly to me. The new Disney Animation Resort, rooms and suites designed for family’s with kids in mind, they have suites themes after Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and Little Mermaid is standard room. Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou is nice too, two queen beds and a pull down twin bed off the wall below the tv on the newly remodeled rooms, others have a pull out under the bed bed. Alligator Bayou offers spacious room close to pools, and O’man island pool fun center, and child friendly entertainment at the Roost pub every night with piano playing and singing from Bob. You also have Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney’s All Star  Pop Century, Music, Movie, and Sports.  When you find your resort let your agent know so she can book it for the days you will be their guest.

Tip 7: Consider Grocery Delivery Another way to save money and not go hungry while on your trip is to get Door Side grocery delivery to your resort, you will save money on water, soda, munchi’s, and other items that you can get through them instead of the resort general store. Water is $2.50 a bottle on the average, you can buy a whole case for about $10.00. We also kept bread, turkey lunch meat, soda, bag on small donuts, fresh veggies to snack on, etc. This way when you get back late from one of the parks and you are hungry, you have stuff to eat.

Tip 8: Do Laundry Save money by packing less to keep the weight down on your luggage, by taking advantage of one of the many laundry facilities, which are usually by the pool.  This way you and kids can swim in between wash cycles.You can read more about it HERE.

Tip 9: Make Dinner reservations at the 180 days ahead of your trip.  Tables books fast, especially when you want a character lunch or dinner like at Cinderella’s Royal Table at the castle. Restaurant’s where the tables slowly “turn over” (like Chef Mickey’s or breakfast at Ohana’s) go even faster. So make sure you get those reservations head of time.

Tip 10: Learn from our site! Do as much research as you can from our site or other Disney World sites! Remember, you want to maximize your trip for yourself and child(ren) and have it go very smooth as a single parent without worries and have it be FUN!!! Research, research and research!!!

– kid @ heart Disney Divo

Kristin is the founder and co-director of Tips from the Disney Diva & Devos. She started writing the blog when she realized there were many people going to Disney World and having a miserable time, and it was all from a lack of planning. She knew that she could help and has assembled the finest writing team she can find !